Friday, July 29, 2011

Council of the Federation Literacy Award

Bus driver shares inspiring literacy story
CBC News: 7.28.2011 by

Michael Moore kept the seriousness of his reading problem hidden for years but now the Winnipeg Transit driver is getting national attention for starting a new chapter of his life.

Moore is one of 14 recipients this year of the prestigious Council of the Federation Literacy Award.

The 52-year-old man describes himself as someone who slipped through the cracks of the school system with low marks in English. He scraped by with grades not much more than 50 per cent and never read a book from cover to cover.

He developed day-to-day strategies to cope, often saying, 'you do it, I've forgotten my glasses.'

To become a bus driver at age 25, he orally memorized all 75 rules and regulations. He also kept his shortfall a secret at work by not applying for promotions.

But with children, and faking his way through reading to them, Moore finally decided he needed to get help and get the monkey off his back. READ MORE !

. . . . in related news:
Toronto: Library cuts will happen ‘in a heartbeat,’ Doug Ford says

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who's in the Queue? Public Access Computers

Who’s in the Queue? A Demographic Analysis of Public Access Computer Users and Uses in U.S. Public Libraries Institute of Museum and Library Services
Research Brief No. 4, June 2011

The demographic analysis in this brief dispels some myths about the beneficiaries of public access computer services in U.S. public libraries. Public access computer users largely resemble the general public in terms of age, education, and even in the overall level of home computer and Internet access.

• The fact that many different people report that they are able to fulfill a wide variety of information needs is a clear indication that public libraries are providing much more than basic technology access

• Substantive uses of public access computers mirror the needs people have at different stages of the life course. Young people identify education activities as their main use, people between the ages of 25 and 54 identifying employment activities as their top use, and people 55 and older reporting health and wellness research as the main public access computer use.

Charts included:
Age Comparison
Education Attainment
Public Access Users by Home Access Type
Rank of Public Library Internet Use by Subject Area
Rank of Public Library Internet Use by Subject Area and Home Access Type
Top Substantive Uses of Public Access Computers by Age Category

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Plain English

New Law Calls for Writing in Plain English
The Times in Plain English Version: 6.1.2011

President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act into law in 2010. A federal agency published rules on how to implement the law in April 2011.

The federal instructions are six pages long. It states: As defined in the Act, “plain writing is writing that is clear, concise, well-organized, and consistent with other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience. Such writing avoids jargon, redundancy, ambiguity, and obscurity.”

Most professionals in the government said it would take years to make the law work. They said writing rules requires precise language. Courts look at the meaning of words. Simplifying the writing may make it difficult to understand exact meaning.

Others say that bureaucrats write for other bureaucrats, not for the public. Critics say that language written for the public to understand must be clear. Full Story: The Washington Post READ MORE !

Friday, July 8, 2011

Literacy Tribune Newsletter: July 2011

Literacy Tribune: July 2011
The Adult Learner Network Newsletter

United Literacy, a non-profit organization, provides resources and support to adult literacy learners in the United States. Its aim is to make literacy education accessible and worthwhile for adult learners.

Main Story: Labels, Learning Disabilities, and Reading
- Do people say you have a “Music Disability” because you can’t sing very well . . .

A History Lesson: Songs of Patriotism
- It’s July, and the start of some of our nation’s most beloved customs – picnics, barbeques, parades, fireworks, and outdoor concerts.

Member Spotlight: Gloria Murray, Guest Writer & Learner
- My speech is called “Ideas on ALLI.”

Organization Spotlight: Literacy Volunteers of Tucson (LVT)
- The year was 1961. Betty Frey, an educator in Tucson, Arizona, went to talk with her assistant pastor about what she could do to help the community.

Technology Watch: What to Do After Buying a Brand New PC Laptop
By Daniel Pedroza, Writer and Learner
- Just bought a new laptop? Wondering what you have to do before you can use it?

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.
Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

You can write about:
Your road to literacy
Your literacy organization
Literacy resources you like
You can write book reviews, poetry, short stories
You can write articles about health, finance, or technology
You can write just about anything !